Mortgages  

Election has not dampened housing market: BoE

Election has not dampened housing market: BoE

Data published by the Bank of England shows that the election has not dampened the housing market, with growth in both remortgaging and the number of approvals.

The number of approvals for remortgaging in March was 32,591, compared with the average of 31,726 over the previous six months, the latest Bank of England statistics reveal.

The number of approvals for other purposes was 9,369, compared with the average of 9,298 over the previous six months. Lending secured on dwellings increased by £1.8bn in March, compared with the average monthly increase of £1.6bn over the previous six months.

Article continues after advert

The three-month annualised and 12-month growth rates were 1.6 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively. Gross lending secured on dwellings was £16.9bn and repayments were £15bn.

Data published yesterday (30 April) by the Land Registry revealed the number of property transactions had been decreasing. From October 2014 to January 2015, there were an average of 71,090 sales per month, compared to the previous period of 76,056 sales per month.

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director of Phoebus Software, said: “The increase in loans for both purchase and remortgage in March has taken everyone a little bit by surprise after a very subdued start to the year.

“It indicates that perhaps the election is having less of an impact on the mortgage market than many of us thought.

“Record low rates being announced on a weekly basis has got to help consumer confidence and this together with the fact that lenders seem to have eased back a little on affordability criteria should mean that completions continue to rise.

“The biggest change to this will be an unclear result to the general election. People do not like uncertainty, so the best thing to keep figures moving upwards would be a either a clear cut result, or at least a government formed within a couple of days of the general election.”

emma.hughes@ft.com